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Dr Roger Whitehead - research

Research interests

Our research interests fall into three main areas:
EXPLOITATION OF CHEMICAL PREDISPOSITION IN NATURAL PRODUCT SYNTHESIS
We are tackling the syntheses of the sponge derived fatty acid derivatives, manzamenones A and G and the unusual cytotoxic alkaloid, madangamine A, using approaches founded on the principles of predisposed chemistry.
NOVEL ANTI-BACTERIAL AND ANTI-FUNGAL AGENTS
We are preparing a range of analogues of intermediates on the shikimic acid, tryptophan and histidine biosynthetic pathways, which have been selected as likely competitive inhibitors of various enzymes on the respective pathways. On completion of the synthetic investigations, in vitro studies of the inhibition of purified enzymes by these unnatural substrates will be carried out.
NATURALLY OCCURRING ANTI-TUMOUR AGENTS
We are interested in preparing a number of naturally occurring anti-tumour agents. In particular, we are investigating the synthesis of varacin, an unusual benzopentathiepin which is 100 times more active than fluorouracil against human colon cancer.